Navy Finds no Evidence of Widespread Cheating
Last November it was reported that the US Navy launched an investigation into the submarine community after a “cheating scandal” resulted in around 10% of the crew being kicked off their boat. Allegations that similar “cheating” was common were made in the press, and presumably by some of those who were kicked out.
The Navy has now concluded that cheating is not widespread, as had been asserted.
The inspector general…opened an investigation following a complaint that originated in Groton, Conn., the home port of an attack submarine that was hit by a cheating scandal in 2010.
In a letter sent to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in December, the commander for the Atlantic submarine force said the claims were unsubstantiated. It said previous episodes mentioned in the complaint were investigated and dealt with individually.
The article cites former officers who claimed the “cheating” was simply the most recent version of dealing with
increasingly difficult nuclear training exams that have little bearing on skills sailors actually need.
In other words, they felt the tests were unreasonable, so they felt it was reasonable to not take them seriously.
Former submarine officer Christopher Brownfield was incredulous about the Navy’s investigation:
He said investigators might also have overlooked some examples because the cheating often was not overt, more often involving subtle hints and dropped clues.
It would be interesting to know how that investigation was conducted. You don’t exactly go around asking career military folks “ever cheated or know someone who did…?”
Military testing can sometimes have — or at least feel like it has — a significant ability to influence a person’s military career. The temptation to cheat is great (especially if it seems everyone is doing it), but that does not eliminate the need to do the right thing.